Published Jul 29, 2005
Tommorrow I will be charge nurse for the first time. I'm nervous but excited at the same time. Anyone have any words of wisdom to help me through my shift. Thanks.
P_RN, ADN, RN
Have you shadowed a Charge Nurse? Think about what tasks she did and arrange them in your head/ or on paper by time and by importance. Don't be afraid to say "I don't know BUT I will find out ASAP"
Practice the "look" that is don't feel you have to defend your actions. Take advice and then make your own decision.
Don't let others trap you into their jobs at the risk of your own tasks. Starting one IV is fine but don't do things just to be nice. You have your own stuff to do.
I will say that the first time is very stressful. Mine was on a Halloween, dressed as Florence Nightingale. The patient's wife was nagging him and he proceded to attack her. We had me, a clown, a Raggedy Ann and a hand surgeon all in the room. The poor patient must have thought he was in the looney bin.
kastas, BSN, RN
I agree with all of the above. I would add to stay calm. I haven't charged for long, but that is the biggest compliment I get. When sh_ _ hits the fan, be the one that doesn't panic or change your demeanor. I hate when our charge nurses panic or get snippy or yell. It just makes the situation all the worse. Try to keep smiling.
The other I would stress is that you DO NOT have to defend your actions. P_RN is right. Until they walk in your shoes, some will never agree with your decisions. Make up your mind and stick to it. You will be respected in the long run for it. (Though keep an open mind to suggestions).
Good luck. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.
Pull your weight, work as a team and delegate whenever possible if your load is too heavy.
This is the job that I do every single day! First of all keep in mind that your main job is to be a resource person. I do the best I can to answer questions and to make as many calls as I can, but if I am busy with admissions I delegate the blood sugars and stool softener calls, lol. Just like you have worksheets for your daily patient assignment, I recommend that you find a worksheet that you can refer to when in charge. I do mine like this:
NPO's DNR's RESTRAINTS
I have blocks like this for all 32 beds. For example, if I have a patient in 8A that is NPO, I jot an 8A under my NPO list at the top of the sheet. If my 8a is NPO for a stress, I jot 8A under the NPO list and write out Stress on the 8A block. This way I know that I am looking for a stress result, usually when it comes back the patient can be discharged. I also write if any blood sugars are due and the parameters. For example, if I have a patient in 12 that is for AC and HS blood sugars call if 400, my line would look like this:
12 AC_______HS_________BS 70-400
This way I know that I need to track down a nurse before report if I don't have my space filled in. I hope that I am explaining this well enough and that I am not confusing you. I just like having everything right in front of me and organized. Let us know how your first night in charge goes, ok?!?
well how did it go???
Tweety, BSN, RN
I hope you had a good day!
Well I was lucky, this weekend we were wonderfully staffed and not too many admits. We discharged a bunch of people and so my shifts ended up being fairly slow. I never realized though how many little issues would pop up that I would need to take care of. For example I had to call our medical equipment supplier to get some equipment out to a discharged patient who had not yet received her supplies. I also had to figure out how to juggle the staffing so we didn't have too many people working but we wouldn't be drowning if we got slammed. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Thanks for the great advice. I am going to try to make a worksheet up for myself.
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